Design Science


This article analyzes the role of artifacts in Information Systems regarding their capability to store and transfer designknowledge and to support the researcher-practitioner collaboration. A definition for design artifacts and their characteristicsis presented that distinguishes between prototypes and products. Based on three examples for artifacts from the field ofInformation Systems, deficits concerning the accessibility of artifacts are identified, as well as problems of unintentionalembedding of knowledge into artifacts—both results in a 'design science dilemma'. A strategy of 'open artifacts' is suggested,since this might support the collaboration between authors of artifacts (practitioners) and researchers who may want to extractand analyze the embedded knowledge. The work in this paper contributes to a better understanding of knowledge transfermechanisms in design science and can be used as a foundation for further research in the development of artifact-basedknowledge transfer and re-engineering.